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Thread: National course too tough?

  1. #1
    Senior Member A.G's Avatar
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    National course too tough?

    I read with great amusement the whole page article in Athletics weekly this week, entitled’ Hell-ter skelter course.’ The most absurd extract was where Alistair Davy seems to think the course was akin to some kind of child abuse:

    Perhaps my biggest concern, though, is for the younger age groups. Even with a clear course, was it absolutely necessary to include the hill for them all – in the case of the junior men three times just as it was for the seniors? Was its inclusion considered when we read week after week in AW about youngsters failing to join or remain in our sport, while they are queuing up to play football, cricket, rugby and many more sports? It is not hard to see why - they get enjoyment from them without the kind of suffering that the Alton Towers course inflicted upon them.


    He later goes on to say:
    ‘We need to be aware of young people’s tolerance levels and we need to be realistic and provide encouragement to them to both join and develop in our sport.’


    Perhaps Mr Davy needs to travel up to the Dales one summer weekend, and witness the youngsters participating in the BOFRA races, over far tougher climbs. I’m sure the beaming smiles on their faces aren’t as a result of the ‘suffering’ they are enduring!

    What are the opinions of the fell runners on here that ran the race?
    Last edited by david; 15-03-2008 at 01:50 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member A.G's Avatar
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    Re: National course too tough?

    Not sure how to indent that quote.....

  3. #3
    Senior Member fellhell's Avatar
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    Re: National course too tough?

    Too tough?
    The only problem was it wasn't long enough, and I say that despite being dead after 1 lap!!

    A lot of people said it was too narrow, i personally didn't see a problem, but they may have a point.
    'That's what you get when you suffer - you get results'

  4. #4
    Grandmaster dominion's Avatar
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    Re: National course too tough?

    The leaders seemed to be having difficulty picking they're way through the back markers on the last climb up the hill where it was quite narrow. Maybe RR could comment on whether it was as bad as it looked?

    Course too tough? Well my friends 7 year old that I took to watch had a great time sprinting up and down the hill. He never once complained even though we ran and walked around the course for the duration of both the womens and mens races. The 'hill' was only about 100ft* or so! Is it much worse than Parliament Hill, or Roundhay Park?

    It was quite funny watching some people stop to walk up the hill and then realising that no one else around them had, so they quickly started running again!

    *Sorry I meant 30 metres....

  5. #5
    Master Fleeter's Avatar
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    Re: National course too tough?

    tarts

  6. #6

    Re: National course too tough?

    Xc too tough ??
    I can't comment on the nationals,but the north wales league is the most boring 5 races i have ever done.The Oswestry race is the only one that includes anything like a hill.I did harder XC when i was 10 !! Is the trend happening in the rest of the country ? I wish they would include what i consider XC "musts" mud and hills.They should be close to a "c" cat fell race.
    Did anyone see the worlds in Japan where the only hill was a flyover to make up the figure of 8 ? You could have run bare foot it was that hard and dry.If they measured it to exactly 10k,i'd have bet on some pb's.

  7. #7
    Master Witton Park's Avatar
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    Re: National course too tough?

    I've read AW as well - my U15G (bottom of age) was fine - I think he makes one or two worthy comments but the general thrust is way over the top.

    The narrowness was the main issue - particularly for the Men's race - but even in my daughter's race when 300 runners are squeezed in to a course about 5m wide after 250 - 300m then all other than the top 20% are going to be having problems.
    This was mentioned by many on the earlier blog, but no mention of the problems of lapping runners - I think by that stage the whole field has thinned out sufficiently.

    The hill was fine - I thought the problem was the chicane at the top, the quick left/right/left to negotiate the fenced corner / wall etc - that was an issue in all races.

    I would summarise by saying great course, just look at making the whole route a little wider if it is to be used again, and particularly the 1st 1km, and try to take a better line up the hill.
    Also - distances were definitely short in all races. That needs looking at - it is the National after all.

  8. #8
    Master XRunner's Avatar
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    Re: National course too tough?

    The title would be equally correct by stating:

    "National course too short."

    The winners time of 32:03 was 4:49 quicker that the 2001 time of 36:52.

    In 1998 the distance of the senior was reduced from 15km to 12km and the winners time should have been between 37 and 41 minutes.

    Do the race organisers use a surveyor's wheel to check the distance?
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  9. #9
    Senior Member mxhornet's Avatar
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    Re: National course too tough?

    That hill was fine by me, even if couldn't run all the way up on first two laps due to there being no way through due to the narrowness. A fourth laps would have made sure it was 12k
    Hoping for a far more successful 2009

  10. #10
    Senior Member wycoller's Avatar
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    Re: National course too tough?

    Wasn't at the nationals, but I am the father of three running teenagers. Surely at national level only those who are training seriously will enter, so distance/climb shouldn't be a problem.

    I do think that we need to be careful elsewhere though. It can be very hard for a teenager (girl in particular) to complete some fell races if they haven't been training hard and running for a few years. Also we need courses that test the top youngsters.

    No easy answer!

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